Raising Raiders at Frank Layden Elementary

By Kennedy Allen, Karsen Westhoff, Cadence Gaines, and Dominique Schlesnecker

Changing the world one child at a time. Teachers at Frank Layden Elementary have recognized the need for a one on one mentorship with students at Frontenac. This led to the creation of the mentorship program, which will aid elementary students in growing, developing, and just simply being a kid. Kids who have less than ideal living situations are less likely to have a strong parental figure in their lives. Thus, the mentorship program was created. The program mentors elementary, junior high, and high school students alike. The mentors sit and converse with the students as they eat in the cafeteria. This is intended to brighten the students’ days and boost their academic confidence.

FHS journalism students spoke with Mrs. Kunshek about how exactly this program works and the main goal behind it. She tells us that the main goal of this program is to ensure that kids have someone to talk to and strengthen their vision of a parental role that may not be so strong at home. The program does not take up any of the kids’ learning time, as the mentors interact with them during breakfast in the morning.

We asked Mrs. Kunshek why the program was created. She replied, “We are finding they need more connection with adults, wanting that special time with someone. We see it lights up their day. That kind of relationship is special to them.” It’s very evident that Mrs. Kunshek cares very deeply about the relationship children crave, so we asked her how she thinks the children are benefiting from the program. In response, she says, “It’s building trust. I find that they are saying hi to us, and coming up to us and hugging. They see that they do have someone they can love on.” There is a light radiating from the kids like never before, and this program is largely to thank for that. Unfortunately, this program is a fairly new one, having only been operating at the schools for about one month. There are only ten mentors, three of which are teenagers. So please, if you are interested in mentoring elementary kids, contact Mrs. Kunshek for more information. You won’t regret it.